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Aging in the Eighties: America in Transition, 1981

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • National Council on the Aging
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Atlantic Richfield Foundation
  • Equitable Life Assurance Company of the United States
  • Exxon Corporation
  • Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
  • Levi Strauss Foundation
  • Bankers Life and Casualty Company
Free Keywords
aging; attitudes; economic conditions; economic trends; expectations; health status; income; medical care; older adults; perceptions; retirement; retirement adjustment; retirement planning; Social Security
  • Abstract

    This survey was undertaken to record changes in views about aging among older people as well as younger adults. In the seven years after the benchmark study MYTH AND REALITY OF AGING, 1974 (ICPSR 7657) was conducted, a number of significant social and demographic changes occurred in American society, some profound economic trends continued, suspicions grew about an impending financial crisis in the Social Security system, and new priorities emerged at both the national and local political levels. AGING IN THE EIGHTIES updates topics from MYTH AND REALITY OF AGING with items relating to the experience of aging, social activities and the involvement of the elderly, expectations and attitudes about retirement, and preparation for retirement. Other major issues were explored for the first time, including the economics of aging and retirement, the changing face of retirement and employment after 65, Social Security and the role of government, health status, and health care.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1981
  • 1981-06-15 / 1981-07-31
    Collection date: 1981-06-15--1981-07-31
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Americans aged 18 years and over.
This data collection employed a multistage random cluster sampling procedure. The total number of 3,452 interviewed persons was drawn from two national cross-sectional samples, an oversample of persons aged 55 to 64 drawn from one of the two national samples, an oversample of persons 65 years and over from two other national samples, and oversamples of Hispanic and Black populations drawn from special stratified multistage cluster national samples.
Collection Mode
  • (1) The data contain blanks. (2) The sample of 3,452 includes N = 1,098 persons ages 18-54, N = 492 ages 55-64, N = 675 ages 65-69, N = 845 ages 70-79, and N = 317 ages 80 and over. The total sample contains N = 2,482 white, N = 491 Black, and N = 454 Hispanic persons.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.1998-05-11 SAS data definition statements have been provided for this collection. Also, the SPSS data definition statements were replaced and the codebook and questionnaire were converted to PDF files. Funding insitution(s): Atlantic Richfield Foundation. Equitable Life Assurance Company of the United States. Exxon Corporation. Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company. Levi Strauss Foundation. Bankers Life and Casualty Company.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8691 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08691.v1
  • Gelernter, Judith, Lesk, Michael. Use of ontologies for data integration and curation. International Journal of Digital Curation.1, (6), 70-78.2011.
  • Krause, Neal. Race Differences in Life Satisfaction Among Aged Men and Women. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.48, (5), S235-S244.1993.
  • Ferraro, Kenneth F.. Self and older-people references in evaluating life problems. Journal of Gerontology.47, (3), S105-S114.1992.
  • Ferraro, Kenneth F.. Cohort analysis of retirement preparation, 1974-1981. Journal of Gerontology.45, (1), S21-S31.1990.
  • Ferraro, Kennth F.. Group benefit orientation toward older adults at work? A comparison of cohort analytic methods. Journal of Gerontology.45, (5), S220-S227.1990.
  • Harris, Louis. Aging in the eighties: America in transition. Washington, DC: National Council on Aging. 1981.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 8 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

National Council on the Aging (1988): Aging in the Eighties: America in Transition, 1981. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.